Gausman was a reliable back-end starter early in his career, posting a 4.22 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 3.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio while averaging 146 innings per season for the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds from 2014 to 2019.
But his career truly took off upon joining the San Francisco Giants, who helped him fine-tune his splitter to form a devastating combination with his four-seam fastball.
Gausman, originally obtained on a one-year, $9 million contract, posted a 3.62 ERA with 79 strikeouts and only 16 walks in 59 innings during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. The 30-year-old returned to the Giants after accepting the qualifying offer and was even better in 2021, combining a 2.81 ERA with 227 strikeouts and only 50 walks in 192 innings while anchoring the starting rotation for a team that won a major league-best 107 games.
He made his first All-Star team, then finished sixth in National League Cy Young Award voting and became one of the most coveted free agents on the market.
Gausman could help fill a new hole in the Blue Jays' rotation. Last week, Toronto lost starting pitcher Steven Matz, who posted a 14-7 record with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts last season. The veteran agreed to a four-year, $44 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
ESPN Staff Writer Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.
Kevin Gausman's best moments from the 2021 season
Check out the best highlights from Kevin Gausman's 2021 season as he signs a 5-year deal with the Blue Jays.